Autism Awareness

AUTISM AWARENESS has never been more at a heightened level. It needs to be as autism is an all too common affliction.

PACE is doing good things to aid the cause. PACE is short for Parents for Autism Community Education, with its well-intentioned roots in Bellaire. It was created by Dennis Delbert of The Runners’ Connection and his wife, Mary Jo.

PACE is a non-profit organization committed to raising autism awareness and understanding. It carries out that mission by providing free autism education and resources to those in the local community with a need or desire to learn about autism.

The group bids to produce a better quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum via enhanced awareness and education which yields understanding, acceptance and assistance.

PACE champions its mission by disseminating worthwhile information. The group stages seminars that feature top-flight speakers in the field. Speakers of their magnitude normally ply their trades in larger cities for a sizable fee.

Through the efforts of PACE, such speakers now come to the Ohio Valley. Even sweeter is that the local seminars are free to anyone with interest.

Thus, PACE is charged with raising money to make those efforts come to fruition. The group holds just one fundraiser a year and it unfolds this Saturday in the form of the sixth annual PACE Awesome Autism 5K. It is staged on the streets of Bellaire and all proceeds from the event are going to a great cause.

The Delberts are hoping for 300 participants Saturday, which would break the previous high by one. Entry fee for the race is $20 with pre-registration, or $25 on the day of the race. Registration will be held on Saturday beginning at 7 a.m., and the race will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Anyone wishing to pre-register for 5K, may contact Dennis at The Runners’ Connection in Bellaire. It is located at 318 33rd St., and the phone number is (740) 671-1982. Additionally, you can also download the application online at

We commend the work PACE is doing to further the cause of autism awareness. We also challenge anyone wishing to support PACE to lace their sneakers and hit the streets of Bellaire Saturday.